The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government whether it has withdrawn criminal cases pending against former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh, also known as Raja Bhaiya, and if so, explain the reason behind it.
The high court’s Lucknow bench comprising justices M N Bhandari and Manish Kumar cautioned the state government that if a proper explanation was not given by July 21, it may take suo-moto cognizance and examine if the withdrawal of cases was proper or not.
The division bench expressed in its order that liberal withdrawal of criminal cases against any person facing a number of such cases has to be examined to see if it stood the test of judicial scrutiny or not.
The bench passed the order on the writ petition moved by Shiv Prakash Shukla Senani whose counsel S M Royekwar argued that the petitioner had contested the Assembly election against Raja Bhaiya “and hence faced a threat to his life”.
It was further argued that the petitioner was given security cover. As the time for security was expiring, he moved a representation to the government to extend his security.
On an earlier petition, the HC had directed the state government to decide the petitioner’s representation seeking extension of security but even then it has not been decided so far.
“On the other side, the state government has withdrawn many criminal cases pending against Raja Bhaiya to the utter surprise as he is a habitual criminal and has a long history of criminal cases and it would sub-serve no public purpose at all from withdrawal of prosecution against him,” argued the counsel.
Under the circumstances, the HC should intervene into the matter and grant adequate security to the petitioner otherwise his apprehension of threat to his life may prove true, pleaded the counsel .
The court extended the security cover of the petitioner till the next hearing.
The bench took a strong view that the state government withdrew criminal cases pending against Raja Bhaiya.
Raja Bhaiya is an independent MLA from Kunda in Pratapgarh district. He was a cabinet minister of Uttar Pradesh in the Akhilesh Yadav government and had resigned in the wake of the killing of Kunda DSP Zia-ul-Haq by a mob in Pratapgarh in 2013.
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